Now I believe that my perfect motorcycle project is complete,
and I am happy with how she turned out.
It was time to move from my reliable old Honda 900 Boldor’s and into the much read about Airhead. Whilst I have doubts about a lot of modern day Harley riders, I can understand their attraction to the machine. Non Japanese, been there from the beginning, a certain simplicity? maintained a classic look and feel that has stood the test of time.
Manufacturers that can claim all that, are very very few
indeed. Flat head, Knuckle, Pan, Shovel, even Evolution, not for
me, I also demand... straightforward reliability. That leaves me
with very little choice, but thankfully all my bike requirements
were encapsulated into one such machine. The 81-84 R100 seemed
to be the pick of the Airhead crop.
Soon after flew to Melbourne, returned upon my black 82 R100, learnt a lot about it, too original a machine to chop up, so a year later flew to Melbourne again and rode back an 81 R100TIC, an ex-German police bike, huge RT fairing, hatch on tank, complete with little black police box behind, and just under 10,000 original k’s. Not being the greatest mechanic (at all) I thoroughly enjoyed being able to easily understand how this thing operated throughout the various stages of myself pulling it apart and reassembling.
Some tips from Dave Munro, though most of my basic required
knowledge was obtained from Vince Radice. A bit of a tart here,
lately been dropping in to see Thorsten in Myaree, very handy
having “Munich Motorcycles” as his neighbour for bits n pieces
Was extremely happy with the complete project, phase 1... took
her on a few good rides, even did a lap of the country, 17,000
faultless K’s in five weeks.
For some reason, the old slash 5 and 6 fuel tank, especially
with police hatch, to me, screams out classic BMW, so ordered
one from Motorworks England, a few easy mods and it fitted. This
left a decent gap between the tank and seat which would have
been for me, a difficult fix, this was the excuse that I needed
to go ahead and fit a much wanted classic looking saddle seat
which I knew would be at home with that tank with big finned
pots sticking out below.
Some basic welding, zip ties, and all was go, now for everyday
use med size panniers that suited the look (you need to be able
to carry stuff!) the M19 50 cal ammo box was the obvious choice
(yeah... true) easy to fit, and looks great. I had one already,
but throughout all Australia I could not easily obtain another,
so made one out of two M21A ammo boxes which have the same
I liked the look, though was not too sure what to do behind the
seat, John suggested a wooden rack...yes I thought a basic
aluminium subframe, then off to Bunnings for a 40mm wide piece
of jarrah, didn’t take long to make up, have a pillion pad made
that drops onto the rack, works well and looks good, all in all,
am very happy with the end result.
2023 is getting closer, I know what BMW should do to mark this
centenary... give the “technology saturated” peoples back what
they used to have!
The RNineT, a beautifully made machine, though as Cookie mentioned it is not really a practical machine, certainly won’t obtain cult status within the motorcycle world, and will soon be forgotten. I believe for that occasion, bring back the duel shock R100 with slash 5 tank and hatch, with variable easily fitted custom options ie; dual seat, single seat, saddle seat, wooden rack (why not?) cool looking practical everyday, or touring panniers, and in one colour only...traditional BMW black.
people are now yawning at all these Harleys that seem now to be
everywhere, even the show “Southpark” has had a comical dig at
them. The market is wide open for this long-running reliable
pushrod classy classic to step into. It's a machine that
everyone can feel comfortable being seen upon. Would be so
easy/cheap to recreate with modern refinements added, be the
perfect stamp to mark the occasion, lets face it... this is the
motor that created and was for many years BMW. The marketing of
this machine would be easy and so much fun, could become a cult
classic even before hitting the floor.
I am sure that there would be plenty of excuses as to why this can’t happen... that's today’s world.